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BURST Wedding obscurantism and primitivism

Gunfire shootings from all sorts of guns, but the Kalashnikov is especially popular. This summer season, again, when many expats are coming to visit their families, or find a girl or boy they like from their hometown to wed, to drink and eat from the abundant tables, to listen to extremely loud music. Home, sweet home, with so many bullets to be fired… Back in the days, an unusual “business” was established – rent-a-Kalashnikov service. For a certain amount of money, around 20 euros, you get a gun with a full magazine at your service, “to relieve your soul”. A good profit (one bullet is around half a euro) and happy customers, of course.

By: Xhabir Deralla

There is not a more absurd way to get killed by celebratory firing at a celebration. Weapons are absurd and evil anyhow, but celebratory firing is perhaps the most absurd way to express one’s joy. And to endanger the lives of the closest ones! How stupid and unthinking does one have to be in order to take a gun, and even a Kalashnikov and fire in the air?! I believe there are no measurable units for that. And the insane justification, characteristic among all Balkan people: “That can’t happen to me, I’m an expert!”

I remember, around fifteen years ago, I had the opportunity to travel across Macedonia on a civic education tour on the risks of abuse of weapons, together with Frank Odendahl, a high ranking officer in the German army, who was helping the government tackle the issues related to illicit weapons, as part of UNDP’s mission. I still remember his decisive and precise performance without a single surplus of words, when he was presenting facts about the risks of guns use and misuse, from which even today I feel chilly. I especially remember his statement: “Don’t get excited by ‘experts’. You will outlive them!”

Every year, MOI publishes black statistics on injured people, and sometimes fatal victims from stray bullets. And, we have celebrations that turn into tragedies, a rush to hospitals and… funerals. A couple of days ago, I received a message about a village near Skopje where a “little war” takes place every time there is a celebration. I get similar messages from Cair, Dracevo, Topansko Pole, Gjorce Petrov, but it is also not rare messages telling me about trigger happy characters in Lisice, Aerodrom and Center municipalities. What is the MOI doing? – is the most frequently (angrily) asked question on the social media.

Yes, the MOI can always do more and better. Just like everyone else. Here we have the biggest problem. Just like in many other areas, the MOI may even try to do something, but the other parts of the system will fail. So, even if there were an intervention in cases of illegal gun use, there would be a lack of reaction from other institutions that are called upon to put an end to this dangerous “sport”. The prosecution, for example.

And not to mention that it is always more comfortable to set up traffic patrols at every other corner and to assist in the enthusiastic “harvest” of the tow trucks (unless the infamous Bekjo of DUI – who attacked a police woman, recently – is in the vicinity). Intervening at a wedding where there is a real arsenal of “toys for celebration” can be a “dangerous mission”. Especially if guest at the celebration is some local sheriffs who will prevent the legal procedure from taking place.

Let’s say that the law doesn’t mean anything to them, as is the case. But…except for the fact that they “forget” that a bullet fired in the air has to come back and that it can injure people, and even kill them, the “cheerful gunners” also forget about the traumas they inflict on people around them. At the celebrations there are children, too, who, in addition to the horrible music with overly high decibels, also have to listen to the shots and bursts. Well, with the music one can survive somehow, but guns and bullets are created for killing!

In the past, when I child was born, a marriage, or something important happened in a remote village, gunshots would be fired. That was an invitation, a way of announcing events, a kind of primitive communication. With all communication devices at the palm of your hand, shooting nowadays is just obscurantism and primitivism. That’s it.

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